While doctors are usually blamed for any mishap, be it natural poor prognosis or genuine complications, rarely people get to know their side of the story — how a dying patient affects their psyche, how they deal with these patients and their kith and kin, what are the kinds of abuse and threats made when they are not able to save a life despite their best efforts. Book describes stories the blackmail doctors face from opportunist goons, legal industry and vulture kind of journalism. Every day blackmail by legal industry, journalist and local goons, similar to what Dr Archana Sharma went through and others doctors are facing have been described.
Dr Pankaj Kumar, Director Critical Care at a Delhi Hospital, India has come out with an insightful account of these very aspects of a doctor’s life.
The 300-page book (English) contains 20 stories divided into three parts viz – Larva & Pupa Syndrome, Hope & Fear & Medical Lawsuits. The book is available worldwide on Kindle Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Tolino, Kobo, Scibd, BorrowBox, Baker & Taylor , Vivilo, Overdrive etc.
His book ‘At the Horizon of Life & Death’ is a Reality Fiction that reflects the sensitivity involved in dealing with patients facing death.
Through the eyes of its protagonist Dr Anand, the book captures significant moments in the treatment trajectory of critical patients. The book tries to create awareness regarding pertinent issues faced by the medical professionals like demoralisation, expensive medical education, the extreme pressure and suicidal ideation, the plight of the nurses and support staff, assaults and violence and the medico-legal intricacies involved in day-to-day practice among others. The author has also taken care to guide aspiring doctors to make well-informed career decisions.
Part One (Larva & Pupa Syndrome)- talks about the expensive medical education, and the issues students face in medical college.
Part Two (Hope & Fears) talks about the beginning of doctors’ professional journey, the disease demons they face while dealing with critical patients, dilemmas of doctors and patients near death situations.
Part Three (Medical Lawsuits) is about how doctors are always working under the threat of medico-legal lawsuits.
While stories are fictional, the scenarios and the problems in them are very real — things that he faced or saw his colleagues facing.
Medical profession has become victim of mistrust generation and blame culture. Everyone keeps harping about the few black sheep in the community, while larger good work of doctors is not highlighted enough.
The stories span from Dr Anand’s initial days in the emergency room and capture his struggles in complex medico-legal scenarios over the next four decades. This book is an effort to bring back focus on the treatment of the patient as opposed to the mistrust, legal frameworks and policies surrounding the healthcare practice.
Suicide by Dr Archana Sharma has exposed the blackmail; medical professionals are going through in current era. Doctors have become sitting ducks for punishments complaints, blackmail, and legal complexities besides every day harassment. Negligent police, indifference of Government and venomous media has made it impossible for health care workers to work in a peaceful environment. It may not be a good idea to opt for a medical career any more.
More naïve would be to pay millions to be a doctor.